Saturday, May 29, 2010

Deception Pass Beach – Before and After


I have been asked a couple of times now about one of the images I created at the recent Tony Sweet workshop I attended - the image you see above. I decided this would make for a good "Before and After" blog entry so here it goes.

For this image I really need to address the shoot as well as the post processing.

The shoot (or creating the score):

  1. I spotted the interesting tree from a distance but the tree was not separated well from its background as shown here.Coupville_1-4
  2. After hiking around a bit I realized that I could get the tree against the sky if I went down on the beach and walked a little ways – next image.Coupville_1-5
  3. I then framed the shot using the boulder for some foreground interest given I had selected a wide angle lens to capture the sweeping beach leading to the tree.
  4. I wanted to capture the motion of the water so I added a variable ND filter to allow for the longer exposure (1.6 sec).
  5. The bad and good news was that now the beach was totally in the shade. To compensate for this I used a soft edge 2-stop ND on the sunlit tree and sky – feathering during the exposure.
  6. I then waited for a big enough wave to come in past the boulder and clicked the shutter as it started to recede.

Coupville_1-3I waited to get more than one image , but the waves never came up that far again.

The post processing (or the performance):

  1. Once in Photoshop I first adjusted the levels.  The image was a bit under exposed as you can see. That is why I wanted another shot.
  2. I then used Nik Sof't ColorEfx Pro "Contrast Color Range" to add some contrast.
  3. Then using Nik Viveza I lightened the upper left corner which was to dark due to the split ND.
  4. Given the beach was in the shade it was a bit blue and dingy so I used the "Warmth and Brilliance" filter to warm it up and brighten up the whites.
  5. To make the boulder pop, I again used a Viveza control point  (limited to the boulder) and boosted the brightness, contrast and saturation just a little bit.
  6. Finally to bring out the color in the sky I again selected it using a Viveza control point and increased the saturation slightly on the pink in the clouds.

Hope that is useful and sufficiently explained. Let me know if there are more questions.